‘Cookery royalty’ Prue Leith to replace Mary Berry as Bake Off judge – report
Prue Leith is reportedly set to replace Mary Berry as a judge on Channel 4’s new incarnation of The Great British Bake Off.
The 76-year-old domestic goddess was seen arriving for screen tests alongside a number of other potential judges last month (Jan17). But now The Sun have reported the South-African restaurateur and writer has landed the prestigious role.
According to the publication, Prue will be judging hopefuls alongside Paul Hollywood, who chose to move with Bake Off to Channel 4 while Mary and hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc remained loyal to the BBC.
Apparently, Channel 4 bosses see Prue as a “like for like” replacement for Mary, with a source adding of the food campaigner: “In cookery circles, she’s practically royalty”.
She is also the same age that Mary was when The Great British Bake Off launched on the BBC back in 2010. And while Channel 4 are aware devoted fans of the show will be unwilling to see anyone but Mary judging contestants’ offerings, they are hopeful that in time she will prove a valid replacement.
“Both are from similar backgrounds, so hopefully viewers will be accepting and give Prue a chance to win them over,” the source added. “Following in Mary’s footsteps is a big challenge. But the producers are confident that Prue has all the attributes. The secret to Bake Off is getting the right dynamic between the faces on-screen.”
A spokesperson for Channel 4 refused to comment on The Sun’s report, stating: “We’ll be announcing the line-up in due course.”
Prue is no stranger to television, having appeared as a judge on BBC show The Great British Menu among other programmes. She also ran a successful Michelin-starred restaurant and founded cookery school Leith’s School of Food and Wine in 1975, before selling the business in 1993 and the eatery two years later. She then launched a cookery school in South Africa.
Mary previously said she believes Bake Off will be a success when it moves to Channel 4 later this year.
“The Great British Bake Off is going to Channel 4 and I’m sure it’ll be very successful with Paul. Wait and see,” she told The Sun.
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